Shorts Rivers Return by Joe Vanhoutteghem and The Wave by Sarah Vanagt and Katrien Vermeire have been selected for the prestigious Leopard of Tomorrow section of the Locarno International Film festival. Rivers Return will run in international competition, while The Wave screens outside of competition in ‘Corti d’Artista’, a sidebar for ‘experimental and radical productions’.
The Leopard of Tomorrow section is dedicated to the discovery of new talent and has built up a strong reputation with its selection of debut films by Fatih Akin, Barbara Albert, Paul Thomas Anderson, Laurent Cantet, François Ozon and many others. In the international competition, Rivers Return has a chance to win the main prize of CHF10,000 (about €7,485), but also a nomination for the European Short Film Awards and a pre-selection for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Short Films Awards (Oscars).
Joe Vanhoutteghem’s Rivers Return is an accidental film, say the filmmakers. One scene led to another. A kind of story occurred: Are we struggling to fit in, to go with the flow? Or are we fighting to stand out? Who wants to be in the rat race to end up in a place where there’s no room for personality? Fact is: we will never get any younger although we all believe in the illusion. In the end it’s only a painful cycle of disappointment. Rivers Return is a production of Epidemic (22nd of May), CCCP’s fiction division, in co-production with Nora Productions (Slovenia). DOP was Nicolas Karakatsanis, who also worked on Bullhead, The Loft and Small Gods.
In The Wave, the archeological gaze of the spectator initiates a motion, namely the opening and closing of a mass grave dating from right after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The viewer digs deeper page by page, frame by frame and grain by grain, slowly revealing the bones. This short film is produced by Sarah Vanagt for Balthasar, in cooperation with Katrien Vermeire, who worked on the project as both DOP and co-director. The Wave is currently also screening at the Biennale of Sydney (27 June- 16 September). The film was made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund.